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Port Authority, neighbors takes aim at Megabus

May 7, 2012 3:20:49 PM PDT
The permit for Megabus was set to expire today, but they have been plenty busy here on 41st. Passengers are heading off to more than 11 different cities, but not everyone embraces this low cost carrier.

Heading off to Washington D.C., Marjorie Skeet and others lined up along 41st Street waiting for the next Megabus.

"A double-decker bus. It's clean. It leaves on time, so I like it," she said.

And she can't beat the price either - $17 dollars round trip. Linda Murtha and Judy Bennett will each pay $50 for their round trip, even if it means waiting on the sidewalk.

"I have an umbrella," Murtha said.

"I think it is (worth it). Most definitely, for the price," Bennett said.

But right inside the Port Authority, where other major bus lines pay for the ability to transport passengers from this hub, not everyone is happy.

"The coalition pays $6 million a year to make sure our customers are warm and they're safe. And they're standing out in the rain so, it is a travesty," Greyhound District Manager Evan Burak said.

Port Authority's executive director also believes it "is unsafe, risky, and simply not smart." After following this several month pilot project, Pat Foye goes on to say, "...we encourage the city to seek a more appropriate and less dangerous location for MegaBus to run its operations."

City Transportaton Commissioner Jenette Sadik-Khan is also hoping proposed state legislation will better regulate low cost bus companies as to where they can pick up and drop off passengers and reduce the impact on neighborhoods. In the meantime, the permit for MegaBus is being extended 30 days.

"We don't go to a site unless the DOT has previously approved it, done an investigation and given us the authority to operate there. So we will continue to work with the DOT going forward and whatever that brings," Tom Lewis, vice president of Megabus, said.

Megabus picks up passengers on 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, as well as along Tenth Avenue at 40th Street.

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